ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Promote Regional Marketing Platform
BANGKOK, March 24 (Bernama) -- More than 40 women entrepreneurs from an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting here yesterday announced a regional product brand and marketing platform called the GREAT Women (Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women)-ASEAN Collection.
From its base in the Philippines, this innovative approach and brand was being scaled up to a regional level, the ASEAN Secretariat said in a press release.
"The GREAT Women-ASEAN Collection is an expression of ASEAN women entrepreneurs' desire to promote globally the region's vast cultural heritage, diversity and natural resources, especially with the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community this year," said Acting Director-General of the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP), Thailand, Dr Wimonkan Kosumas.
The rapid development and expansion of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in the Southeast Asian region had empowered more women to own businesses and increased the number of women employees substantially in the creative and artisan industries, it said.
However, many SMEs continued to face challenges in marketing products internationally or were unable to protect their products as geographical indications, designs, trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property rights, it added.
"By marketing products under a regional brand, women-led enterprises, especially small and micro enterprises, not only overcome the challenges in marketing products and protecting their brand, they will also contribute to the region's further economic integration by expressing their creativity and telling their own stories," said Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, chairperson of Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC) and chairperson of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN).
This week's event is supported by ASEAN and the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs (Business Alliance) -- a partnership of the US- ASEAN Business Council and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) -- in collaboration with OSMEP and many other local and regional partners.
Baker & McKenzie, Procter & Gamble and other businesses and entrepreneurs are also taking part, providing advice alongside AWEN and the Federation of Business and Professional Women's Associations of Thailand.
The three-day meeting on the GREAT Women-ASEAN Collection will help participants plan, consult and brainstorm the development of the platform as an ASEAN regional marketing initiative and brand in support of gender economic mainstreaming.
The outcomes of this meeting will become part of a plan of action for the implementation of the GREAT Women-ASEAN Collection over the next three years.Source: BERNAMA.com (By Minggu Simon Lhasa)